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Richard Bauckham on a Canonical Reading of John and the Synoptics Together

How should Christians deal with the differences between the Gospel of John and the other three “Synoptic” Gospels when all four Gospels are included in the New Testament scriptures? I found Richard Bauckham’s lecture online entitled “The Johannine Jesus and the Synoptic Problem” to be a very interesting reflection on this manner. He highlights how John’s narrative presupposes details in the Synoptic narrative, elaborates on specific themes that are present in the Synoptics in distinctively Johannine ways, and reevaluates the suffering of Jesus’s Passion as a revelation of divine glory. Bauckham’s piece may suggest John’s knowledge of the Synoptic Gospels or at least of Mark’s text, though other scholars may still see this as a sign of John’s independent familiarity with the traditions that were incorporated into the Synoptic Gospels. In either case, one function of putting these four Gospels together is that we can see how they complement each other and how each contributes to a fuller picture of the person and work of Jesus.

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